Thomas Cane, Santa Catcher!

Santa won’t get past this Chimney undetected

It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve decided to catch Santa once-and-for-all. So you camp out on the sofa and wait for the jolly man. But, you doze off and when you wake up it’s Christmas morning and there are presents under the tree and your milk and cookies are nibbled and sipped. Now you have to wait another year to try again.

Well, Thomas Cane, of San Rafael California had enough of the routine and decided to do something about it.

So he invented "A children’s Christmas Stocking device useful for visually signaling the arrival of Santa Claus by illuminating an externally visible light source having a power source located within said device.

He was serious about it too. On August 19, 1994 he filed a Patent with the US Patent Office for the device. It’s patent number 5,523,741.

Here are a few tidbits from the patent:

"Modern folklore includes many mystical entities such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Etc. The most widely recognized and embraced by young children is Santa Claus—a plump, white-bearded and red-suited gentleman who delivers presents to "good" children at Christmas time."

Santa-detecting stocking

"…there are no such prior art arrangements known to applicant which includes a light transmissive three dimensional hollow recognizable character rendition which is capable of being illuminated to signal the arrival of Santa Claus."

"This is particularly important to young children, providing reassurance that the child’s good behavior has in fact been rewarded by Santa Claus."

This is a good one…

"…the presently preferred embodiment of the children’s device… comprises a Christmas stocking having an enclosure therein to accommodate small Christmas presents/treats. The stocking includes a top portion, a heel portion and a toe portion. The stocking is preferably constructed out of a conventional cloth or synthetic material. As will be recognized by one skilled in the art, the stocking may comprise various conventional pliable materials."

Bascially, the way it works is you string ribbon across the fireplace and attach it to the stocking. When Santa arrives, he inadvertently pulls on the ribbon as he attempts to gain access to your home through the fireplace opening, which pulls on a switch, activating lights on the stockings and electronic music, if you’ve turned on that feature. An alternate version would use Santa cutouts rather than stockings which would move his arms, legs and head, doing a little dance. He has covered other holidays as well in the patent such as a version for the Easter Bunny.

Is Thomas Cane trying to catch Santa Clause? Maybe. But his invention is really meant as a product that "Santa" would purposely activate once the kids have gone to bed and the presents have "arrived", so they can check it when they get up in the morning to be sure Santa was there.

I checked online and found other similar items that are available now such as the Santa Evidence Kit. This kit has items that Santa has "left behind" as evidence to children that he was there such as a torn piece of his suit, a sleigh bell, a stencil and magic snow to create a snowy boot print, and more.

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